Pet IDs. Pet owners may have false sense of security after micro-chipping their pets! Television commercials may be offering false hope to pet owners who choose to microchip their pets. Pet owners are urged to use microchips because of their safety and security. But, confusion in the industry and an incomplete database combine to put pets at risk!
Microchipping as a means of high tech identification for pets has been in use in the United States for more than 15 years, but the addition of new types of microchips has caused considerable concern. The newer chips operate on a different frequency than the older chips and this often makes them unreadable with the scanners used by local animal control shelters and veterinary offices. This means that some pets with microchips might not be identified. In addition, the lack of a centralized, national database of these unique ID numbers has generated problems as well. Although they disagree with what type of microchip to use, all three of the major microchip suppliers in the United States do agree that getting pets properly registered is a big obstacle that must be resolved in order for the process to work as designed. More than 50% of pets with microchips are not registered in any database at all! A major failure of the system.
Finally, even the registration websites have proven difficult for pet owners to use. Some of these websites are trying to provide services beyond simply getting lost pets home and that has worried veterinary industry leaders. “Pet recovery databases should be used solely for the purpose of bringing pets home and not for medical records access or marketing purposes,” says Ralph Johnson, Executive Director of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.
Although the futuristic technology is amazing and the intent is good, microchips are simply not a stand-alone solution to keeping your pet safe. Until these issues are resolved, using a durable ID tag and a strong collar with the microchip could be the best thing to do.